Gunning for change

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Summerside Police Constable  Ricky MacLeod holds a carbine rifle MacLeod teaches P.E.I. police to use these high-powered weapons.

Every single police vehicle in Charlottetown needs to carry the high-powered carbine rifle, says one city councillor.

Bob Doiron, who has worked with UPEI police for the past 29 years and has some experience with the city force, said it’s a life-and-death matter.

Doiron also sits on Charlottetown’s protective and emergency services committee.

It would cost approximately $15,000 to $20,000 to equip each of the vehicles with the carbine.

The rifle runs about $2,500, and there are between six and eight vehicles on the road on any given shift, Doiron said.

That’s just the rifle.

The cost doesn’t include ammunition or training police officers on using the weapon.

RELATED: Const. Ricky MacLeod teaching P.E.I. police to use carbine rifles

Doiron said he first brought the issue up long ago.

Nothing has happened yet, so the councillor brought it up again during council’s regular public meeting this month.

“I’m frustrated sometimes at how things work,’’ he said Thursday. “It takes so many steps to get these things pushed through.’’

Each department is in the process of putting together annual budgets leading up to the city budget address in March.

Doiron said a retired police officer in his ward brought the issue to his attention when he was going door to door prior to the most recent civic election.

“This was one of his concerns, that city police didn’t have the capabilities of reacting in an immediate manner to the threat of a long-range gun.’’

“I’m frustrated sometimes at how things work. It takes so many steps to get these things pushed through.’’ Charlottetown city councillor Bob Doiron

All officers carry a pistol, and Doiron said rifles are available, but they’re stored at the police station and there isn’t always time to go back for them.

The issue of carbines for police in Canada got international attention following the June 2014 shooting in Moncton where three RCMP officers were killed and two others wounded.

RCMP officers asked for the carbines but criticized the force for taking so long to supply them.

An independent review called for better access to shotguns and rifles.

Carbines are considered accurate up to 300 meters.

Summerside Police Services now has them and the Kensington police force is equipped.

All RCMP detachments in P.E.I. are now equipped with carbines.

“I want officers to have the capability to have the tools to be able to act to an immediate threat (so) I’m pushing this forward,’’ Doiron said. “As a policeman, when you get a call, especially a gun call, you don’t know what you’re going to face.

“You want to be able to protect the citizens of Charlottetown. If police officers don’t have the tools and can’t perform their duties at the top level, that is a concern.’’

The Guardian did reach out to Police Chief Paul Smith, but he wasn’t immediately available for comment on Thursday.

Organizations: RCMP, Summerside Police Services

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Canada, Moncton Kensington P.E.I.

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Me
    January 16, 2016 - 01:49

    Charlottetown PD should have to disclose their budget, then we'll talk.

  • Joe Doe
    January 15, 2016 - 23:37

    I THINK THE BOYS ARE WATCHING TOO MUCH AMORICAN TV.

  • John Scott
    January 15, 2016 - 23:35

    So what is in a name? Funny how when civilians want a rifle like that it is called an "assault weapon". When the cops want one, it is called a carbine. Why is that?

  • G-man
    January 15, 2016 - 20:29

    What able law abiding citizens in their own homes anywhere in Canada they too should have the right and ability to do the same . (article excerpt) “I want officers to have the capability to have the tools to be able to act to an immediate threat (so) I’m pushing this forward,’’ Doiron said. “As a policeman, when you get a call, especially a gun call, you don’t know what you’re going to face. As a sleeping or dinner eating, or T.V watching Canadian citizen rights to have the tools to be able to act to an immediate threat??

  • enough already
    January 15, 2016 - 19:01

    About Time sounds like quite and idiot. P.E.I. does not have the power to ban semi auto shot guns !

    • Prairie Hick
      January 16, 2016 - 14:51

      Gun control and gun violence topics sure bring the idiots out from under their tinfoil hats and onto their keyboards. Enough already I hope to God or Allah that you do not have a FAC/POL/PAC. It folks with your uneducated and skewed logic that push us dumber folk into going through all the background checks to earn the right to posess those guns and such. If the police require carbines with a medium calibre I suggest they be available. After all, somehow anti gun people all seem to have keyboards and access to the comments section of most media outlets. Take away all the guns. Pure BRILLIANCE. I am sure all the criminals are waiting to turn in their guns. Just ask them.

  • peter m
    January 15, 2016 - 18:07

    I would advise buying from colt.. to the city colt arms m4 has the fun switch. And a millspec bolt.. DONT BUY ANYTHING FROM NORINCO. A 1 in7 twist barrel.. definitely is a need anyway.. im glad to see they will have the proper tools.. and 25 round mags.. Barwises grandson the world champ commenting here dcra hall of fame

  • Allie Carver
    January 15, 2016 - 16:41

    Also, NATO forces don't need drones to be complicit in genocide, but they use them. Gun grabbers should champion a real social injustice, such as the aforementioned, instead of incessantly regurgitating globalist propaganda.

  • Allie Carver
    January 15, 2016 - 16:26

    If Charlottetown residents are to believe that we are under such constant threat of gun violence, as to warrant all active police units to carry high-powered automatic weapons, then we also need to allow all restricted firearms owners to carry concealed firearms. The data is clearly in support of this idea, despite the media induced hysteria. Also to the nameless individual calling for the decimation of shooting sports with the ban of all semi-auto's, do you even own firearms? Why do you feel we need to ban my hobby of target shooting?(You may also want to read Article 17 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.) What data, if any, do you have to support the notion that legally owned firearms exacerbate gun violence(which by the way is incredibly rare in Canada) in this country?

  • about time
    January 15, 2016 - 12:45

    Charlottetown PD should be equipped with carbines in every vehicle. PEI should also ban anything but single shot long guns and enforce this. You don't need semi-auto to hunt geese or coyotes. Single shot all the way.

    • Miles MacGregor
      May 29, 2016 - 14:04

      What YOU think people do and do not need is irrelevant. I shoot three gun competitions, which would be impossible to do with a single shot.

  • Won Hung Lo
    January 15, 2016 - 11:26

    Agree its probably a good idea but I think price per rifle is a little over board 1500.00 sounds about right. Need someone else to do the shopping lol

  • ian macrae
    January 15, 2016 - 09:30

    Take it easy Bob, you think we're a bunch of hooligans!!!! You're smarter than that I hope!!! Don't even talk so foolish, they're is to much Gov. money going in the wrong places already, don't forget who puts money in your wallet! MR. SMARTASS!

  • mad as hell
    January 15, 2016 - 09:04

    First off I fully support the police having the tools to do their job effectively. But I do question the reporting. Why is it that the exact same rifle is called a "carbine" when in the hands of a police officer and an "assault rifle" when in the hands of ordinary people. Many of us own these and use them for sporting purposes. Further, it is incorrect to refer to these rifles as "high powered". The 5.56x45 NATO (or similar .223) cartridges are among the least powerful rifle rounds available. They shoot a very small bullet that travels fairly quickly. Please stick to the facts.

  • Common Sense
    January 15, 2016 - 08:31

    So tell us Bob, when you worked campus security at UPEI, how often were you reaching for your high powered rifle in your car? Is this not why there is a SWAT unit? Why don't we follow USA's lead and start supplying our local law enforcement with armored vehicles! This is PEI, not Detroit. Show me the data of how many times officers used their sidearms and if a rifle would have better suited for that situation. Only then should we look at this issue.

  • Jon
    January 15, 2016 - 08:14

    "...a retired police officer in his ward brought the issue to his attention when he was going door to door prior to the most recent civic election" Looks like Doiron is fitting in to council quite well; one person complains and that should now be top priority for the city!